U.S. Senate, Facebook, Gambino Crime Family: Your Thursday Briefing - The New York Times

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U.S. Senate, Facebook, Gambino Crime Family: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning,

We start today with the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8, a vote in the British Parliament today on whether to delay Brexit, and the shooting death of the reputed leader of a New York crime family.


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Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in Phoenix on Wednesday.CreditRalph Freso/Getty Images

Air travelers should be prepared for further delays today. President Trump grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft, reversing a decision by aviation regulators after a deadly crash in Ethiopia. Here are the latest updates.

The decision by the U.S. and Canada, two of the last countries to ground the jets, came after satellite-tracking data suggested similarities between the crash on Sunday and another involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in October.

What’s next: The short-term costs for Boeing are most likely manageable, but the bigger question is whether airlines will lose confidence in the aerospace giant’s best-selling jet.

Q. and A.: Passengers who were to fly on the Boeing aircraft with U.S. carriers will be rebooked or scheduled on different planes. Here’s more information.


The fallout from the college admissions scandal announced by federal prosecutors has exposed an array of corrupt and illegal practices. But it has also shed light on perfectly legal ways to game the admissions process.

“Is that unfair? That the privileged can pay?” asked the managing director of an admissions consulting company in New York. “Yes. But that’s how the world works.”

The details: The scandal involved lies about sports accomplishments that should have been simple to detect had anyone bothered to look. We have a list of everyone who has been charged.

Another angle: For students of color, the case was a reminder of deep inequalities in admissions.

The Daily: In today’s episode, two of our reporters discuss the scandal.


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Protesters in London on Wednesday.CreditJack Taylor/Getty Images

Lawmakers want a plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union — but not the one offered by Prime Minister Theresa May.

After twice rejecting Mrs. May’s Brexit proposal, Parliament on Wednesday voted to oppose the prospect of a disorderly “no-deal” exit from the bloc.

What’s next: Lawmakers are scheduled to vote today on whether to postpone the March 29 deadline for withdrawal. If they support an extension, Mrs. May would have to seek permission to delay Brexit from European Union leaders. We’ll have live coverage.

Go deeper: With the arrival of American-style political gridlock, Britain has seen the authority of its prime minister diminished to a point not seen in recent history.

Catch up: “The maneuvering made clear that nearly three years after Britons voted to leave the European Union, the nation’s political system is splintering and there is no consensus on how to move ahead even as the critical deadline approaches,” our correspondent in London writes. Here’s a quick guide to what’s going on.


A federal judge on Wednesday nearly doubled the prison sentence of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, to seven and a half years, saying that he “spent a significant portion of his career gaming the system.”

In sentencing Mr. Manafort on two conspiracy counts, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of U.S. District Court in Washington closed out the highest-profile prosecution brought by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

Mr. Manafort, 69, received a 47-month sentence in a related case last week.

Related: Prosecutors in New York have charged Mr. Manafort with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other state felonies. The charges are part of an effort to ensure Mr. Manafort will face prison time even if President Trump pardons him for his federal crimes.

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CreditFrom National Archives & Records Administration

On Sept. 15, 1942, a volley of Japanese torpedoes in the Pacific sank an American aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Wasp. For decades, the families of those aboard could only wonder where the wreckage had landed.

It took a billionaire backer, an epic hunt and a flash of insight to arrive at “There she is.”

Facebook investigation: Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal inquiry into deals that gave major tech companies broad access to users’ information. Separately, the social media company’s three main services — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — went down intermittently around the world on Wednesday.

Presidential rebukes: The Senate is likely to vote today to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a border wall. On Wednesday, lawmakers voted for a second time to end American military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and to curtail presidential war powers.

Curbing teenage vaping: The Food and Drug Administration has proposed requiring retailers to sequester flavored e-cigarettes to areas off limits to anyone under 18.

Death of a reputed mob boss: Francesco Cali, 53, who was said to be the leader of the Gambino crime family, was fatally shot outside his home on Staten Island on Wednesday, the police said.

The 2020 election: Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman whose close loss in a Senate race last year propelled him to Democratic stardom, announced today that he is running for president. Here’s where he stands on the issues.

“The Argument” podcast: Our Opinion columnists interview Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democratic presidential candidate.

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CreditUeslei Marcelino/Reuters

Snapshot: Above, a memorial on Wednesday after eight people, including five students, were killed in a school shooting in Suzano, Brazil. The two assailants, both former students, killed themselves after the attack.

Overlooked obituaries: In the early 1900s, Isabella Goodwin became New York City’s first female police detective after going undercover to expose a bank robber. She’s the latest entry in our series of people who didn’t receive obituaries in The Times when they died.

Late-night comedy: President Trump came after the late-night TV hosts on Wednesday. They responded.

What we’re reading: This interview with the crime novelist Laura Lippman in Topic. Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a features writer, appreciates Ms. Lippman’s take on “the dead girl phenomenon”: “If you look at the books that win the most prestigious prizes in my genre, and they’re very good books, but a lot of them can be summed up this way: a beautiful woman dies and a man feels bad about it.”

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CreditCon Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Christine Albano.

Cook: This lemon snacking cake is a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Watch: Here are five international crime series that recently arrived on American television and streaming services.

Read: Lynne Olson’s “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War,” which tells the story of a Frenchwoman who led the fight against the Nazis, is new this week on our hardcover nonfiction and combined print and e-book nonfiction best-seller lists.

Listen: Hip-hop fans in Britain and France have generally been indifferent to each other’s music. But musicians with links to Europe’s former colonies in Africa are bridging that gap.


Smarter Living: If you only have a few minutes to work out, one option is high-intensity interval training. Spread three 20-second bursts of intense exercise across 10 minutes of running, cycling or rowing. That’s it. Optimal repeats: three times a week.

Also, a new dating app tries connecting people through what’s inside their refrigerators.

The Times recently published a story about a Central Park detective who is retiring, along with his horse, from the New York Police Department. Which got us wondering about how mounted units have managed to endure.

One of the first on record is the Bow Street Horse Patrol in London, established in the mid-18th century to ward off petty crime on country roads. The idea soon spread across Britain and around the world.

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Detective John Reilly, 63, and Trooper, 15, retired from the New York Police Department’s mounted unit in February.CreditJames Estrin/The New York Times

These days, mounted officers are often used for crowd control and easy navigation through traffic (mobility and sightlines from horseback are better than on foot or in a car). According to a study in 2015, the benefits include building public trust.

In comparison to foot patrols, the report said, “Mounted police were observed to generate over six times as many instances of casual public engagements — such as greetings and brief exchanges — over equivalent time periods in neighborhood patrols.”


Happy Pi Day! See you next time.

— Chris


Thank you
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford, Chris Harcum and James K. Williamson for the break from the news. Remy Tumin, on the briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the college admissions bribery scandal.
• Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: Part of an elephant or tree (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times stations three reporters at 1 Police Plaza in New York City, in a shared office referred to as “the Shack.”

Chris Stanford is the writer of the U.S. edition of the Morning Briefing. He also compiles a weekly news quiz. He was previously a home page producer at The Times. Before 2013, he worked at The Washington Post and other news outlets. @stanfordc

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